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Calipusan backs out; Yap unopposed again

Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan came out somewhat  of a hero after backing out from the congressional race where he could have clashed against the incumbent, Rep. Arthur Yap, on May 13.

Calipusan drew admiration from fellow mayors in 3rd district and saved the harmony among 3rd district leaders. A few others were dismayed.

Calipusan filed his affidavit of withdrawal from the May 13 elections at the provincial Comelec office at 2:50 p.m. on January 9, indicating personal, family and health reasons.


In his official statement, Calipusan pointed out that it was not for pride and power that he supposedly wanted to be elected as congressman of third district, but to introduce reform.

Calipusan also made it clear that his main purpose of running for congressman was to support President Aquino's advocacy against corruption based on the slogan, “Daang Matuwid”, which he claimed he had implemented in his town.

He also admitted he has no enough funds and resources to match what he believes Yap has.

Calipusan takes pride in having accomplished as mayor of Loboc that earned him the nomination of the ruling Liberal Party.

However, he expressed disappointment that his supposed partymates had forsaken him and prefer to support Yap instead.

The mayor of Loboc said most of the mayors in 3rd district who run under LP did not recognize his nomination as the official candidate of LP and lamented that those in the higher positions in the party did nothing about this.

Calipusan pointed out that efforts to achieve effective reforms would be futile if politics of convenience through money is tolerated.

Calipusan indirectly hit his partymates in the Liberal Party in the province whom he said had violated the oath they took when they joined the party.

He also lamented that his fellow mayors of third district who are his partymates in Liberal Party could have been his allies in pursuing reform, but he failed to draw them to his side.

On this, Calipusan assured the Boholanos that he would continue his Calipusan Alang sa Repormang Epektibo advocacy even as a private person after his term as mayor of Loboc.

He admitted he could do nothing more if his service is not needed.

The fervor in pursuit of effective reform will remain burning and will just have to wait for the proper time, according to Calipusan.

During his rounds to the other towns of third district, barangay captains and mayors told Calipusan that they could not turn their back on Yap who had efficiently delivered the services and projects that their people need and that even before Calipusan became the official candidate of LP, they had already expressed support to Yap's reelection plans by then. This helped Calipusan finalize his decision to back out.

The twist makes Yap unopposed again.


Majority of the town mayors in the third district welcomed the Calipusan's decision, saying it would maintain harmony among 3rd district leaders during the election period.

Loay Mayor Rosemarie Mae Imboy, an LP reelectionist, already expressed support to Yap's reelection bid even before the filing of candidacy.

For his part, Jagna Mayor Fortunato Abrenilla described Calipusan's withdrawal as unfortunate. However, Abrenilla added that the action of Calipusan was a noble one considering that the Loboc mayor lagged behind Yap.

Abrenilla added that Yap had poured several projects to all the barangays in Jagna.

He added that Calipusan's strategy of anchoring his campaign on being a Boholano-born as the only one who feels for fellow Boholanos and the campaign on being the official candidate of the administration party as an edge in getting funds from the national government.

Abrenilla said Yap had managed to facilitate funds from the national government to their town and the other towns in the district even if he belongs to the other party.

Sierra Bullones Mayor Fred Gamalo, another LP reelectionist, said he was relieved that Calipusan withdrew.

For her part, Sevilla Mayor Ernisita Digal said she was shocked over Calipusan's withdrawal. However, Digal said that her group can now focus on supporting Yap for the same reason that the incumbent congressman have already facilitated several projects to their towns.

Two other mayors earlier said that aside from the fact that Calipusan never asked for their support, they clarified that their membership to the party only require them to stick to the principles of the party and that they are not dictated who to support in the elections.

Moreover, they said they could not just close their eyes to the reform that Yap had brought to their district and the projects that gradually improved the living condition of their constituents.

They said they could not just gamble on promises against the ongoing program that Yap had already started.

On the other hand, the two mayors said the style of governance in Loboc that Calipusan wants to replicate in the other towns of the district might contradict to their own style of governance which is the fruit of their harmony with the people.


Governor Edgar Chatto said that party leaders respect Calipusan's decision.

Chatto also explained that Calipusan went through the selection process before he got his CONA from LP national headquarters.

The governor said it is the national headquarters of the party that issues CONA for the positions of congressman.

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